The FDA has recently started to roll out new guidelines in an attempt to make sunscreen safer, and there are likely more changes still to come.
Selecting what sunscreen to use can be an absolute minefield. You are preparing to go on holiday to some far away place, or maybe even just planning a trip to the beach or the park, and you're faced with a wall of different varieties of sunscreen. Different brands, varying SPFs, ones that protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. What does it all mean?
Choosing sunscreen for yourself is one thing. Selecting which one is best for your children is something else entirely. While we want to avoid doing damage to our own skin, making sure our little ones don't get sunburn or worse is of the utmost importance. That's why the sunscreen selection process is even more painstaking if you have children.
Unfortunately, new regulations recently rolled out by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will only make that process more arduous. This shouldn't be seen as a complaint, however, since the new regulations are aimed at reducing the number of harmful chemicals currently present in many brands of sunscreen. Of the 16 chemicals tested, only two of them have been given the all clear by the FDA.
Reuters reports that the two chemicals the FDA has deemed safe are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The kinds of things you will find in most natural, mineral-based sunscreens. That leaves 14 other chemicals that the FDA is not entirely okay with. Two of those have already been banned from being used in non-prescription sunscreens, PABA and trolamine salicylate. If you have any sunscreen containing those chemicals then it might be worth replacing it before summer rolls around.
As for the other 12 chemicals, those are the ones that the FDA has called to be tested more thoroughly. Those additional tests will not only be on sunscreen either. Wipes, towelettes, body washes, shampoos, and basically anything else that boasts a sun protection factor (SPF) will be tested. Speaking of SPF, the FDA is also planning to raise the maximum from 50+ to 60+. It all sounds pretty daunting but it will ultimately make for safer products in the not-so-distant future.